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Tuesday, June 18, 2024 at 9:07 PM

Recreational Marijuana in Churchill County Despite Ordinances Against

Recreational Marijuana in Churchill County Despite Ordinances Against

Author: Courtesy Green Cross social media

Recreational cannabis was approved by Nevada voters in 2016, but it was left to local communities to decide if they would allow the use and sale of recreational cannabis. Churchill County and the City of Fallon decided against it, with the city allowing the one medical dispensary that was opened in July of 2017.

Nonetheless, recreational marijuana is delivered to Fallon daily by the recreational facilities in Fernley and Carson City. Records obtained from the Nevada Cannabis Compliance Board show that routinely, anywhere from 18 to 65 deliveries are made each day of recreational marijuana to addresses in Fallon and Churchill County. Recreational dispensaries in Fernley and Carson offer free delivery for orders over $60. All tax revenue generated by these Churchill County sales benefits Lyon and Carson Counties.

During Fiscal Year 2021, licensed adult-use cannabis retail stores and medical dispensaries generated $1,003,467,655 in taxable sales. FY 20 saw $685 million in taxable sales. Outside of Clark and Washoe Counties, the 15 rural counties generated $77,040,859. Of the state total, $159 million was transferred to the Distributive School Account, as passed in 2019, directing revenue from the 10% retail cannabis excise tax into the DSA.

There are currently six counties that do not allow recreational cannabis – Pershing, Churchill, Douglas, Lincoln, Eureka, and Elko.

Several tribal dispensaries have opened across the state, one in Pershing County and one in the process by the Fallon Tribe. Tribal establishments are not licensed by the Nevada Cannabis Compliance Board, but in the spirit of cooperation and the mutual interest of a well-regulated industry, according to the CCB website, there are currently 13 tribal partnerships functioning under Tribal Compacts between the state and individual tribes in Elko, Ely, Fallon, Ft. McDermitt, Las Vegas, Lovelock, Moapa, Reno-Sparks, Timbisha, Walker River, Winnemucca, and Yerington.

In addition to the medical and adult use recreational retail license, there are four other types of cannabis licenses in the State of Nevada: cultivation, distributor, manufacturing, and testing.

Nathan Van Treese is the owner of the local medical dispensary in Fallon, Green Cross Farmacy. In addition to his medical license, Van Treese also has a license to open a recreational facility, however, is prevented from expanding to recreational sales because of the City of Fallon’s prohibition.

“If dispensaries from other communities are coming here to make deliveries there is a demand and Churchill County should allow recreational sales. I’m being kept from perfecting my recreational permit by the City of Fallon and being prevented from running a profitable, legal business,” said Van Treese.

He says he would like to discuss the issue of his license and opening a recreational facility in the City of Fallon, but neither Mayor Tedford nor members of the city council will speak with him.

In 1998 the question of medical marijuana was on the statewide ballot and passed 58% to 41%. Churchill County voted 51% no to 48% yes. The City of Fallon vote was 50.14% no to 49.86% yes.

Again in 2000, the question was on the state ballot, passing for the second time to become law with 65% yes to 34% no. In Churchill County voters this time said yes, 54.58% to no, 45.42%. City of Fallon voters voted at that time 56.78% yes to 43.22% no.

During the 2016 election, Nevada voters approved recreational marijuana with 54.47% voting yes and 45.53% voting no. In Churchill County, the vote was 40.19% yes to 59.86% no.

In May of 2018, the City of Fallon held a public hearing on whether to amend the Municipal Code to prohibit or allow recreational marijuana. After a long contentious debate and public comment, the City Council made up of Councilmen Bob Erickson and James Richardson and Councilwoman Kelly Frost voted to continue to prohibit a recreational facility.

Mayor Tedford has said that the issue was decided then and the City has no plans to revisit allowing recreational marijuana.

Trent deBraga is the Attorney for the City of Fallon who said that Van Treese, through his lawyer, has made a public records request and threatened a lawsuit. Because of anticipated litigation, the city has no comment. “We have responded to their request accordingly as required, and have nothing further to say,” he said.

The Fallon Post conducted a survey recently regarding recreational marijuana in the community and had 339 people respond. Of those responding, 41% of whom were over 65 years old, 68.9% said they would support a recreational facility in Fallon. Additionally, 41.8% of the respondents said they travel outside the community to purchase recreational products, and 18.1% said they have recreational products delivered to their homes in Fallon.

There were 96 comments submitted to the survey, with the majority in favor of recreational cannabis. One comment to the survey said, “The only thing we are doing by not allowing recreational marijuana is giving money and jobs to other cities … this is well regulated and keeps illegal drug dealers from operating!"

There were also several comments opposing the issue, with the respondent saying, "Fallon sees the crime that is happening in Reno, takes pride in being safe and family-friendly, has 1/10th the resources of Reno to deal with the problems it will create, and is still considering bringing in recreational cannabis? Makes no sense, at all."




David Brown 03/31/2024 03:33 PM
Argument for recreational Marijuana. Seems to me like the Mayor and the other powers that be, are imposing their own personal agenda, and not even trying to listen to the voting residents of the county. Just like in D.C., they think that they are the only people that matter. Their view is the only view. It doesn't matter if you vote Left, Right, or middle. It's supposed to be MAJORITY. I wonder why the " Good Ol' Boys" don't want to have all that tax revenue for our schools, our roads, our economic growth, period. It's LEGAL, folks. Take advantage of the opportunity to grow our town and benefit our kids and poor. Put to the vote. Then abide by what the MAJORITY says. I'm good with it either way.

dave_ash 09/03/2022 12:41 PM
It's a shame that the mayor and city counsel sends our tax revenue to other cities/counties. It's not my preference to provide tax revenue to Washoe and Lyon counties. But hey, Fallon's leadership has spoken.